As most know, the DeLaSalle community extends well beyond the shorelines of Nicollet Island, and many contribute in meaningful ways to the operations of the school. Hundreds of alumni, friends, alumni parents,foundations, benefactors, and community members provide financial support each year to current students, parents and staff. Such support is definitively part of the broad mission of DeLaSalle. While tuition revenue remains the largest line item in the school’s operating budget,(for which we are grateful for our educational partnership with current parents), the annual gifts of our broader community sustain our 118-year commitment to financial aid and scholarships for deserving students and their families.
Simply put, without the support offered to our financial aid programs from our broader community, perhaps many of our current families would be unable to attend De. There’s more. We also are beneficiaries of prayer, expertise, contacts, education, and the accumulated wisdom of thousands who have led successful adult lives in part because of their connections with DeLaSalle and its mission. Each year, many alums and friends visit the school or attend school events. And each year, the DeLaSalle Office of Advancement travels to meet with alumni and friends as a sign of appreciation for their ongoing support. Advancement staff have the opportunity to update and thank our supporters, and attendees to those events find ways to support the school’s longevity and vitality.
Recently, members of the Advancement Office joined president, Barry Lieske on DeLaSalle’s annual visits with alumni and friends in Arizona and Florida. Brian Lynch, Jessica Luckett and Patrick Felicetta joined Lieske on the two trips. The DeLaSalle staff reconnected with De people at three separate luncheons and in individual meetings over six cumulative days nights. Some were new to the events, while others have been coming every year. The audiences were broad but the DeLaSalle story still resonates for multiple generations, as alums dating back as far as the 1940s joined those as young as Maggy Waddington, a 2017 grad currently at Arizona State, to hear updates about the school and share good stories. Throughout the year, other day trips closer to home — to places like St. Cloud, Sioux Falls, Rochester and Brainerd among many — also connect DeLaSalle’s Advancement team with its supporters living in those areas.
Advancement fundraising for 2017-18 is going exceptionally well — ahead of last year’s numbers — and with a strong finish to the fiscal year ending on June 30, DeLaSalle should balance its operating budget for the 22nd year of the past 23. In addition to the many face-to-face meetings, a group of current DeLaSalle juniors and seniors have been calling alums and supporters of the school as the fiscal year enters its final quarter. This phonathon has been organized by Christian Glanville, who also has launched The Current Club, a new way for benefactors to support the Annual Giving Fund. Luckett has been working with multiple reunion committees as the season of class reunions approaches, as well as organizing the annual Alumni and Friends Golf Tournament to be held on August 10. The Alumni Association recently identified its 2018 recipients of Alumni Association scholarships, to be announced at the April 25 Founder’s Day Mass and program.
DeLaSalle remains so appreciative of the support that comes from so many sources. The school and its mission remain so much bigger than any one person or group of people, but the strength of so many helping hands is powerful and educational to our current students. The commitment to support is being passed from one generation to the next. Islanders are indeed everywhere! What a wonderful story to share..